Fourteen students and three employees in DeKalb County Schools have tested positive for coronavirus since school started on Aug. 10, Superintendent Jason Barnett said on Tuesday.
According to Barnett, only two of those students had actually been on a campus. He said of the employees who tested positive, none of them are classroom teachers.
He says parents have been doing a great job communicating with different schools about their children.
"They call the school to let people know they're symptomatic and they're seeking on what to do and we're referring them to their healthcare provider or maybe they have already been tested and were positive and called the school just to let us know so that they can keep them out, so we understand where they are and we can support them during this time," said Jason Barnett, DeKalb County Schools Superintendent.
Less than 1% of students and less than 1% of employees are currently quarantining because of possible exposure, according to Barnett.
Barnett says the district is following the Alabama Department of Public Health's toolkit for guidance on when a student, teacher or staff member needs to quarantine from possible exposure to the virus.
"They do require a 14 day isolation or quarantine period and that has caused some concern for our parents because they know their child has been out of school for 7 days and is feeling great, and wants to return and be able to be a part of their school and be apart of their school and get their education they need, but they're working well with us to make sure that we keep everyone safe," said Jason Barnett, DeKalb County Schools Superintendent.
Barnett said on Tuesday that he was not able to tell WAAY 31 which schools had students or employees who tested positive.
Barnett provided the following statement:
"I want to applaud our local students, parents and community members for being great partners in prevention methods. Students are excited to return to campus which is evident by the high number of attendance. Today we are at 95 percent attendance which is great for any day-especially during times like we are living in currently. DeKalb County Schools is the largest employer in our service area and we also serve nearly 9,000 students. Therefore, like the flu, strep throat, etc.. there will always be individuals associated with our system that are impacted by the virus. How we inform one another and how we respond is paramount to overall prevention. There will certainly be cases and incidents as we open schools, but fortunately these have been very minimal and the quick communication from stakeholders has been paramount to preventing these individuals from attending our campuses and mitigating any spread. We need everyone to continue being strong partners and prevent the spreading as best we can. From the first couple of weeks, I can tell you from visiting the schools that our students, faculty and staff are doing an amazing job in our local schools. I am very proud of them. So I ask that you continue to take these reasonable precautions we have in place and we can overcome this virus together."